But My God Shall Supply all Your Need…” Are You Sure?

Philippians 4:19 states, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Here is what many who preach the “prosperity gospel” will say: The promises of provision from God for His children are numerous and wonderful. God provides our every heartbeat, the food we eat and even luxuries that we could essentially do without. He is a great God and, every time, in every way, always and without fail, supplies our basic needs, ensuring that no child of His goes without the necessities of life.

The speech of the “prosperity gospel” preachers is very comforting to some, but it is not always true.

If you believe God always and without hesitation, supplier, every basic need at all times for all His children without discrimination, then you have not been reading your Bible enough, and you have probably been listening and watching too many television preachers, or at least you are listening to the wrong preachers. As a general truth, God does supply our needs and even some desires. Some like to say that God will always supply our needs, not our greed. Sounds spiritual. I wonder if that is true?

Need is determined by God not man. That which we think we need and that which God KNOWS we need, may not match. Does this include even, basic needs, such as food, water, clothing, sleep and health? Well, YES it could!

Consider Job. There was a time in his life when his greatest need seemed to be good physical health. His body was covered in boils, which brought fever, meaning he was in severe pain. One boil can cause great discomfort. Imagine not being able to sit, turn or lie down without extreme pain with each movement. Yet, God did not immediately heal him. And remember, job had no idea why all this was happening. At the time, he was not aware of the dialogue between God and Satan found at the beginning of the book. Though job was LATER healed and blessed, God’s divine plan for Job at the time was that Job should glorify God through suffering. God’s divine call for job overruled any healing or prosperity for the moment.

Consider Lazarus the beggar in Luke 16. The Bible states that while the rich man was faring sumptuously and enjoying all the good of life, Lazarus was sick and not means of obtaining proper medical attention. The dogs licked his sores. Lazarus was hungry, and had no means to provide food for himself, and God certainly did not provide bountiful meals for Lazarus. Lazarus was forced to eat the crumbs which fell from the rich mans table. Is there a contradiction in the Bible because of Lazarus being a beggar? Just One thousand years earlier, David, in Psalms 37:25 remarked, I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. David said he had never seen the righteous forsaken or His (God’s) seed begging bread. Yet notice: Lazarus was God’s child, but he was lacking (1) good health, for he was full of sores (vs. 20). (2) He also lacked money, for he was a beggar. And, (3) He was lacking food, for he was eating crumbs from a table. If only poor Lazarus could have just heard some of these modern “prosperity gospel” preachers, he would have been well and wealthy ... if he had enough faith. Or just maybe, God’s calling for Lazarus was to glorify God through adversity. Abraham did say Lazarus received “evil things’ in life, Luke 16:25. Abraham also said the rich man received good things during his lifetime.

Consider the great Apostle Paul. If anyone was in the will of God, and super spiritual, it was the rabbi from Tarsus who was changed on the Damascus road. He was even the one who said, in Philippians 4:19, that God would supply all our needs. By the way, Paul wrote the book of Philippians from prison in Rome, Italy. You would think Paul’s greatest need was being released from jail so he could be free to preach the gospel. Strangely enough, Paul gives a list of several needs of his that were not met, all while in service for God.

In II Corinthians 11:23-28, Paul mentions some of the troubles that came upon him while in the service of the pure gospel. Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. These verses specifically states Paul had need of sleep, good health, food, water, shelter and clothes, yet these basic needs were not met. Why? God’s specific calling for Paul was that he endure these needs and glorify God through his suffering. And notice, Paul was not complaining, he was glorifying God.

In II Timothy 4:20, Paul stated, Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick. Paul did not say Trophimus was in rebellion against God, therefore we conclude he was faithful to God, yet suffered in the flesh an illness that left him incapable of Christian service.

In I Timothy 5:23, Paul instructed Timothy, Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities. Why didn’t Paul just heal Timothy? Do you suppose God has given faithful Timothy an illness that was good for him? I think so. It is often stated that Paul was very nearsighted, because he wrote in Galatians 6:11, Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand. If Paul was very nearsighted, that would certainly hinder his ministry, so why didn’t he heal himself? Do you suppose God intends some suffering to honor and glorify himself? I think so.

II Corinthians 12 also confirms that Paul had a thorn in the flesh (not in the side as is commonly reported) because of the abundance of the revelations he had received from God. He asked God three times to remove the thorn, but God refused. God intended Paul to suffer with the thorn and trust him while he was being hindered with the thorn. Paul stated in II Corinthians 12:7-10, And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

There is a part of Philippians that is often left out. The entire verse reads, But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. You see how scripture can be easily twisted to say what it did not say? Christ did not say he would always supply every need of every believer. He stated that he would supply all our needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

This little nugget of truth, glorifying God through suffering, is ignored and denied because it goes against the flesh. If the modern day prosperity crowd preached this, their offerings would bottom out tomorrow. You will not hear this message from these purveyors of prosperity whose sole purpose in life is to latch onto your loot. These “Prosperity preachers” will continue to beguile the masses, some even in Baptist churches, imagine that, while padding their pocketbooks. God help them on the Day of Judgment and may God help us to glorify Him through whatever calling He has given to each of us individually.

Psalms 37:4 states, Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. This verse does not say God will always give us the desires of our heart. The verse emphatically states that God will always give us the desires of our heart if we delight ourselves in the Lord. And when we delight ourselves in the Lord, he will change the desires of our heart from receiving glory to ourselves, to giving glory to God. Our part is to delight ourselves in the LORD. God part is to give to us whatever he says is right.